Northern Ireland Protocol

Published date : 10 March, 2021
Thank you, Mr Speaker. I echo the words of the Select Committee Chair: it is not the publicly stated objective of protecting the flow of goods that is at issue here; rather, it is the provocative and belligerent manner in which the Government seem to be determined to go about trying to achieve that.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster said previously that he believed Northern Ireland was getting

“the best of both worlds”

through the protocol, and that any issues arising from the new arrangements could be resolved within the terms of that protocol, without needing to trigger the article 16 procedure. At a time when flexibility is needed, this action will ensure that the good will towards the UK Government that is needed to secure changes to the arrangement they took so long to negotiate is in shorter supply than ever before. The conduct of the Brexit negotiations came at the expense of the UK’s reputation for political stability and good governance. Is not this latest development one which will come at the expense of any lingering trust there may be in the UK Government as a trustworthy international partner, who can be relied upon to keep their word?

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